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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

AOL accidentally releases members Web search information

America Online said it mistakenly released data about the search habits of more than 650,000 of its members. The good news is that the AOL users weren't personally identified in the data but the bad news is that they were tracked by anonymous user-ID numbers which could allow anyyone from law enforcement to identity thieves to analyze an individual's searches to get data such as names, addresses and other information that could provide hints to the users identities.

AOL researchers posted the data, which detailed more than 20 million queries made by users without authorization to a new AOL research Web site.

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